Category Archives: WaRP

Three Kickstarter Projects Worth Your Time and Money

Especially in a niche hobby like pen & paper roleplaying games raising money for a new product is not always easy. The various crowdfunding platforms have made things much easier over the years, but many potential backers have also become more careful about which projects they want to support. Today I want to write about three projects which are definitely worth your time and money.

  1. The Expanse Roleplaying Game by Green Ronin Publishing
    If you are a fan of Sci-Fi you probably have already heard about The Expanse series of books by James S.A. Corey which also spawned a hit TV series on SyFy. Green Ronin known for Fantasy Age and Mutants & Masterminds recently picked up the license and are now raising money on Kickstarter for a The Expanse roleplaying game.

    The game is going to use their new Modern AGE ruleset, which is a variant of the Fantasy AGE mechanics they developed for the Dragon Age Roleplaying game. The project was funded in under an hour (!) and multiple strect goals have been hit so far. If you are a fan of the TV series or the books this game is based on, you definitely should check out this Kickstarter! By the way, there’s already a quick start PDF available here.

  2. Over The Edge:  A Roleplaying Game of Weird Urban Danger by Atlas Games
    Over The Edge is a classic. It came out at a time when most games were overly complex and there were rules for everything. OTE on the other hand used a very free-form character creation with player-defined traits and rules so simple you could basically write them down on a napkin (aside from the combat rules that is). The setting was equally unique and drew inspirations from the works of William S. Burroughs. Unfortunately I never got to play the game but when I heard that they were planning a new edition, I had to support it immediately.


    The new edition will contain an updated version of the rules (with streamlined combat mechanics) and an updated setting. The game’s setting – the fictional island of Al Amarja –also gets an overhaul. For more details on the game I recommend you check out its Kickstarter page.

  3. Esoterica Tabletop Roleplaying Game by Greg Saunders
    Greg Saunders is one of my favorite indie game developers. His games like Exilium, Summerland and now Esoterica combine the solid mechanics of the Open D6 system with unique and exciting settings with almost philosophical themes. He’s currently raising money for an urban fantasy game in which player characters strive to reach a higher plane of existence while struggling to avoid the corruption of their very souls.esoterica_original
    Esoterica hasn’t reached its goal yet, so if you think Esoterica sounds like the game for you, you should check out the Kickstarter page immediately and support it by backing. There are about five days left, so there’s no time to dawdle. In all seriousness, Greg’s track record when it comes to Kickstarters is flawless and his games are just great. Check it out!

No love for WaRP?

In May 2012 I wrote a short blog post about the then recent release of the Wanton Roleplaying System (aka WaRP) under the OGL. Most gamers probably never heard of said system before. WaRP is the system which was used in Atlas Games’ Over The Edge roleplaying game which is supposed by many to be the grand daddy of many of today’s indie roleplaying games.

When Over The Edge came out in the early ’90s, free-form systems with player-defined traits, lacking most of the common RPG tropes felt like something from another planet. Nowadays it would fit right in with games like Fate Core, Apocalypse World, just to name a few.

In the WaRP system each player character is defined by four traits: their core trait, two secondary traits, and a flaw. Each trait is ranked in d6 (usually 3 or 4). Each trait is also accompanied by a sign which is a visual representation of its trait. Someone with the trait Soldier may have “Army fatigues” as sign. The traits are player-defined but the OTE rules also included a list of examples to choose from. The whole rules section of the book was about 20 pages long and the basics could be compressed onto just one letter-sized page.

Over The Edge’s setting was also delightfully different. The game is all about the fictional island of Al Amarja, a place where everything imaginable may be true. The player characters in OTE might stumble upon ancient gods, alien conspiracies, weird cults, or anything else the GM might come up with. It is also a place which feels like a cyberpunk city, but from the 1980s. It has all the drugs, and rock’n’roll but none of the cyberware… It was a far cry from what gamers were used to back in the day. So it’s probably no surprise that some gamers still speak fondly of OTE, while others have never even heard from it.

When WaRP was released under the OGL a couple of years back I was hoping to see at least a few games powered by it. Unfortunately people were too busy hacking Apocalypse World, Fate, or many other modern indie games while giving WaRP a cold shoulder. Over the last few days I have been reading the Over The Edge core rulebook again, and I really would love to either try this game out or at least give the WaRP system a try. Hmm, perhaps I’ll add this to the list of games I want to run after my GM break…